On showing up

We humans will do just about anything to avoid showing up, which is funny, because showing up is the main component of accomplishing just about anything.

Everyone knows the story about the “friend” who has decided to get “healthy” by “eating right and exercising,” so they spend days researching gyms and buying home exercise equipment, making lists of goals, creating meal plans, and hiring trainers.

Instead of creating realistic goals, like, “I’ll try to make it to the gym once a week,” or “I’ll take a walk three times a week,” or “I’ll eat a salad once a week,” the “friend” says, “I’ll cut out sugar and all white carbs and wake up at 6 am every day to run five miles and do strength training three times a week and meet with my nutritionist and trainer and and and…”

And then they neglect to show up. Or more accurately, they show up once, experience discomfort, and create ways to avoid showing up in the future. All of a sudden “work is crazy” or a friend or family member needs them so desperately that it prohibits them from showing up. You know the drill.

You do this. I do this. Humans do this. Showing up is hard. It’s not glamorous. Commitment can be boring. Process is uncomfortable, be it writing a book, starting a company, navigating a relationship, managing a project, running a marathon, or changing your diet.

Showing up for therapy is no different. While it’s not easy to make the first phone call, it’s even harder to sit there with the discomfort of your pain, grief, anger, and disappointments. The first blush of hope we get from getting things off our chest can falter in the face of being asked to face your unflattering demons, do exercises and homework during the week, and feel your feelings. Sometimes we want to punch the therapist (please do not do this). Then we come back the next week and realize we wanted to punch them because they helped us find an inconvenient truth that will help us grow.

Life is like that. Everything in life worth doing, takes showing up.